Client Protection - Lessons for the Microfinance Sector
MicroSave's Briefing Note 127 discusses how clients perceive client protection and what stakeholders can do to meet their expectations for protection on financial matters. It presents findings from research with microfinance clients in Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines, which examined their preferences and ranking of the seven client protection principles (CPPs) developed by the Smart Campaign. The research suggests that clients consider all seven principles to be valuable. However, they had clear preferences, when asked to rank CPPs in their relative importance. The perception of protection also varies across geographies. Clients ranked fair and respectful treatment as the most important aspect, followed by transparency. The Note suggests that:
- Financial institutions can prioritize their efforts to implement CPPs based on client inputs;
- Ranking of CPPs can highlight what really matters to clients and help MFIs put the necessary management systems in place;
- Integrating clients' preferences within the customer service framework can help MFIs improve their performance;
- Support organizations can develop content and methods to help financial service providers to increase the awareness of their clients on the CPPs.